There's been a lot to take in this year, with so many events and incidents of note that it's been difficult to keep track.
Luckily, Google's here to help, via its annual listing of the most searched terms, which provides a good - but somber - reminder of the events that made up 2020.
Yeah, not a lot to celebrate within that, and many challenges we're still working to meet. I would also note that US President Donald Trump is not featured anywhere in Google's video summary, despite the significant role he's played in the events of the year. Not sure if there's a message in that (President-elect Joe Biden is also not featured).
Providing further insight, Google has updated its Year in Review mini-site, which includes listings of the most searched actors, news events, games, TV shows and more.
Overall, in terms of global search volume, COVID-19, of course, dominated proceedings.
Interesting to also note the massive rise of Zoom, which was a little-known video conferencing tool (at least in a general public sense) up until this year. Now, it's become a verb, much like Google itself, which is an amazing rise to prominence for the app. Zoom's revenue grew nearly 4x this year.
The death of US basketball star Kobe Bryant was also a key point of focus, while the presence of two cricket-related searches in the top ten underlines the evolving digital transformation in India, another key market note.
In terms of market research specifically, most of the search categories here are too broad to glean any real insight into key consumer shifts or behavioral changes, though the listings for movies, games and TV shows provide some pop culture insight of note.
There's also a recipes category, which could be of relevance to those marketing in the hospitality sector.
But, of course, much of this information is only useful as a point of interest, as these are trends of the preceding months, which are not indicative of what's coming. Which is what you really need - but even so, it is interesting to look through the various events and searches in order to get a better understanding of what people were most interested in. And you can always dig further on your own via Google Trends.
In addition to its listings, Google has also provided a Year in Search key events overview, which enables you to skim over various big trends by tapping on one of two options beneath each event.
It's another way to guide you through the key trends and shifts, and while many will find it easier to examine the overall data lists, it's another option to remind of what happened in the year.
Which many won't want. 2020 has been painful for many people, in many different ways, and really, these search trends only serve as a reminder of those challenges, which likely won't leave you with a warm sense of nostalgia. Instead, it'll remind you of the problems the world still faces as a result of 2020 (or past incidents), which is not exactly relaxing, but could help to steel your resolve heading into 2021.
You can check out Google's full 'Year in Search' listings for 2020 here.